As the sturdy rise of Indian football continues, we look at 5 players who are most valuable to the sport in the country.

Sandesh Jhingan – Defender:

Sandesh Jhingan has played a huge role in the rise of the national team. Leading the line in defence, he’s become one of the most important players in the team, since making his senior debut in a World Cup qualifier this year against Nepal and has been a mainstay ever since. He came into prominence playing for the Kerala Blasters where he had two stellar seasons that earned him the National call-up. He now leads the men from Kerala. He has been earning acclaim over the past two seasons for not only his extraordinary defending but also for his leadership abilities. He also has a knack of scoring important goals at the most crucial situations, his stronghold performances at the back have caused his opponents to fear the beard.


Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – Goalkeeper:

It was almost four years back that news broke about a young goalkeeper from East Bengal had signed a three-year deal with a Norwegian club Stabaek and became only the fifth Indian player to receive a contract from a European club. His lack of game time led him to sign with Indian giants Bengaluru FC and the man is known as the wall of India really came into his own. He’s now the mainstay in the Indian team and because of his vital experience in Europe, the Indian coach Stephen Constantine hasn’t hesitated to hand him the armband in the absence of skipper Sunil Chettri.


 Udanta Singh – Midfielder / Winger:

It was the year 2014 when Bengaluru FC played the TATA Football Academy in a friendly. Nine minutes into the game Mandar Tamhane, the Chief Technical Officer of the club receives a call from then manager Ashley Westwood who was on the touchline saying “we need to sign him”. Westwood could see great things from the Pacey youngster of the TATA Football Academy, thus began the rise of Udanta Singh. Over the years at the club, under the guidance of Skipper Sunil Chettri, he’s become a more rounded player and has learned to use his pace and skill efficiently. Four years on, he’s the next big thing in Indian Football and at the age of 21, he is already a mainstay in a team making history.


Jeje Lalpekhlua – Forward:

The ace striker has been a key player for the Blue Tigers for quite a while now. His combination with the main man Chettri up front has led to a lot of goals for the country. He has been a key player for his club as well, playing an important role in two of the championships his club, Chennaiyan FC top scoring for two seasons. The Mizo Sniper as they call him has been a regular in the Indian Team and has always been a dependable source of goals and it goes without saying that he would be a key player in the upcoming endeavors for Indian Football. 

Sunil Chhetri – Forward:

Captain, Leader, LEGEND. The three words that best describe the great man’s contribution to Indian Football. The stalwart has become an essential mainstay for a long time now and the Indian team sheet looks incomplete without the man. Being the third highest international goalscorer in international Football history, only behind two footballing greats in the form of Messi and Ronaldo, he has already cemented himself in the footballing history of his nation. He’s undoubtedly the biggest name in Indian football and will be the flagbearer hopefully for a few more years.




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